The Ducati rider tumbled in FP1 but made up for it in FP2 with a strong effort putting him on top of the timesheets heading into Friday!
After surging back to the podium at the Circuito San Juan Villicum in Argentina, Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) took the top-spot honours on Thursday at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar. The only round in the Middle East, Davies has been a winner at the longest circuit on the calendar twice before and is eager to add to that tally this weekend. With the sun setting on the 2019 season, Davies is keen to sign-off on a high and lead the way and be the man to beat in 2020.
Starting Thursday in a calm fashion, Davies was eighth in FP1 after a crash, before going out in FP2 and blitzing the field to end up more than a quarter-of-a-second clear of Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) in second place. Setting 18 laps in the 50-minute session, which took place during the same time as the race will occur on Friday and Saturday, Davies is hoping to refine his race pace and remain at the head of the field throughout the rest of the Motul Qatar Round.
Recapping a frantic first day at Losail, Davies said: “It is a bit of surprised to be honest with you, the bike felt good. After the crash on the second lap in FP1, I didn’t really start the day well or with the best of confidence. I built it up through FP1 and then worked on the bike between sessions and picked a direction to work in. The guys did a really good job to give me a good bike for FP2 and it seems like our base set-up isn’t too far away at all.”
Being twice a winner at Losail in 2016, that season was also the last time that saw Davies earn a front row start in Qatar after Tissot Superpole. Having not been on the front row since Laguna Seca – having also led the way at the end of the opening day – Davies will be hoping for similar success to that weekend in July.
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